$0.02: Winning really was everything to Manning | SummitDaily.com

$0.02: Winning really was everything to Manning

DEVON O'NEILsummit daily newsSummit County, CO Colorado
Devon O'Neil

Maybe “too much Rex Grossman” was not the correct argument to employ in explaining why the Bears would win the Super Bowl. Really, though, all I needed to do was reverse my prediction – instead of saying the Bears would win 29-27, writing that the Colts would win 29-27 – and voila, the argument works: The Bears will lose 29-27 because of too much Rex Grossman. Heck, if I’d changed the final score by one digit – 29-17 instead of 29-27 – I’d have gotten everything dead-on accurate.As it was, Peyton Manning proved to every last doubter, including know-nothings way up in the Colorado clouds, that he’s plenty good enough to win the biggest game in professional sports.

The guy is simply incredible, no other way to put it. If Rex Grossman (better known as “Gross, man” in newspapers nationwide on Monday) runs an offense as poorly as you can run one, Manning runs an offense as perfectly as you can run one.He always appears to know more than anyone else on the field, and it’s probably because he does. So rarely does he make an errant throw, or misread a defensive alignment, or take a chance that he should not. “It was just a matter of time” prevailed as the most popular explanation for Manning finally winning an NFL title. He proved that correct.Considering I rooted for Chicago’s hard-hitting underdog on Sunday night, I did not wish for Archie’s son to earn his trophy. When he did, however, I saw a side of a man I’ve long despised as a fan – why does he always seem so freakin’ cocky? – which I hadn’t before.

Manning was humbled by his accomplishment. No whining about his offensive linemen, or his kicker, or anything else that was not his own doing. He deflected praise as seemlessly as he’d always seemed to seek it. Perhaps there is something to respect in the fact that, to Peyton Manning, winning really was everything. …At the Alpine World Championships in Are, Sweden, this month, there is a realistic chance we’re seeing both Bode Miller and Hermann Maier compete on a major stage for the final time in their illustrious careers as ski racers. Miller has hinted he plans to retire from the World Cup circuit at the end of this season, and Maier no longer presents a winning threat week in and week out – which is not enough to get him booted from the list of Austrian starters, but it might be enough for the Herminator to lose interest. With skiercross growing in profile, however, and 2010 Olympic bids up for grabs, wouldn’t it be fun to see these two suckers try their lot at head-to-head racing? I doubt Maier would do it, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Bode get bored and subsequently explore a thrilling new discipline. …Tough to crack the NBA All-Star squad this year. Marcus Camby leads the league in blocks and is second in rebounding, and Carmelo Anthony leads the league in scoring. Yet neither Nugget made the cut. …

In parting, Sidney Crosby tops the NHL in scoring and it’s not even close. Too bad hockey no longer enjoys significant status in the U.S., because Crosby has become arguably the most dominant athlete in team sports, and impressionable fans are missing out.By the way, he’s 19 years old.Devon O’Neil can be contacted at (970) 668-4633, or at doneil@summitdaily.com.

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